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FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT TURKEY
WTM 2010 - Stand EM800
Turkish Culture and Tourism Office UK, November 8-11 2010
 Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents, Europe and Asia. In its
thousands of years of history, it has been the capital of three great empires – Roman, Byzantine
and Ottoman.
 Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World stood in what is now Turkey – the Temple of
Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum.
 The Turks introduced coffee to Europe.
 The first coins ever minted were done so at Sardis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lycia,
at the end of the 7th century BC.
 The word ‘turquoise’ comes from ‘Turk’ meaning Turkish, and was derived from the beautiful
colour of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern Turkish coast.
 The Turks first gave the Dutch their famous tulips that started the craze for the flower in
England and the Netherlands. Bulbs brought to Vienna from Istanbul in the 1500s were so
immensely popular that by 1634 it was called ‘tulipmania’ in Holland. People invested money in
tulips as they do in stocks today. This period of elegance and amusement in 17th-century Turkey
is referred to as ‘The Tulip Age.’
 Many important events surrounding the birth of Christianity occurred in Turkey. St John, St
Paul and St Peter all lived and prayed in Southern Anatolia. Tradition has it that St John
brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the Crucifixion, where she spent her last days in a
small stone house (Meryemana Evi) on what is now Bulbuldagı (Mount Koressos). It remains a
popular pilgrimage site for Christians to this day.
 The seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation are all found in Turkey: Ephesus,
Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
 St Nicholas, or Santa Claus as he is know today, was born and lived in Demre (Myra) on
Turkey's Mediterranean coast. The village contains the famous Church of St Nicholas with the
sarcophagus believed to be his tomb.
 Julius Caesar uttered the famous words "Veni, vidi, Vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered) after the
Battle of Zela, in today's Zile at Tokat near the central Black Sea coast.
 The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the
Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Uskudar in the 17th century.
www.gototurkey.co.uk
Turkish Culture and Tourism office, London, UK
www.goturkey.com
For further press information, please contact Redmint Communications:
Evin Mete / Hulya Soylu • T: +44 (0)20 7745 7255 • E: [email protected]
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